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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Play, love, work

Play, love, and work are operative throughout the human life cycle. The relative contribution of each disposition, however, varies with the particular stage of growth. The development of play, love, and work unfolds in four major periods. During infancy and early childhood, play is the dominant and directing mode of activity; love and work are secondary. After the age of six or seven --- during childhood proper --- work takes charge as play and love take on supportive roles. In adolescence love becomes the overriding determinant of activity, with work and play subsumed under this disposition. In adulthood, play, love and work become fully separate but can appear together in one or another combination. Some adults for example, love their work but have little time for play. Then there are the professional athletes whose play is their work. And sometimes all of us appreciate play, love and work as a single joyful experience.

From the opening chapter to The Power of Play by David Elkind. When I read this paragraph, I felt this was going to be a good book. It was. I found myself marking sections here and there. I will continue to share some of these sections as I work towards completing my book review.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Life-Long Computer Skills

Jakob Nielsen writing in his weekly AlertBox has a timely post this week suggesting the life-long learning concepts that should be taught in schools.

There is some value in teaching kids skills they can apply immediately, while they're still in school, but there's more value in teaching them deeper concepts that will benefit them forever, regardless of changes in specific applications.

Teaching life-long computer skills in our schools offers further benefit in that it gives students insights that they're unlikely to pick up on their own. In contrast, as software gets steadily easier to use, anyone will be able to figure out how to draw a pie chart. People will learn how to use features on their own, when they need them -- and thus have the motivation to hunt for them. It's the conceptual things that get endlessly deferred without the impetus of formal education.

What skills does Jakob suggest? Good ones, that adults can use as well. Skills like: Search strategies, information credibility, and information overload. There are more. I encourage you to click through and read his full AlertBox.

If you are interested, I would also encourage you to subscribe to the AlertBox to directly receive Jakob's weekly insights.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Beyondbroadcasting Collection

This is the collection of posts I have created here and elsewhere on the Beyond Broadcasting Conference I participated in on Saturday 2/24/07. This will continue to be updated as I continue to post on the event, discussions and people from the conference.

Live blogging

John Palfrey picture

Notes from John Palfrey

Panel: Participatory Culture picture

Notes from Panel: Participatory Culture

My Recap (includes photo mosaic)

Check out for the tag "beyondbroadcasting" for additional postings by other participants and Flickr for the same tag for additional pictures.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Notes from the Panel: Participatory Culture

Moderated by Jesse Walker. The three panelists were Elizabeth Osdar, Kenny Miller, and Arin Crumley (Arin via video chat session from LA)

Kenny Miller talked about

Navigational dominance

Democratization of bandwidth

How do you enter in a respectful way?

Basic tribal behavior, what team are you on?

Zero sum game, how much attention time do people have and what are they going to do with it?

Troubadours ultimately bought by Kings/princes to sing, tell their tale; it’s all about folks with power and money trying to game the system

Notes from Elizabeth :

Look more into Yahoo news, collaboration

Yahoo Bought MyBlogLog

10 to 1 pix vs video being shared; i.e. photos easier

Notes from Arin:

Creator of 4 eyed monsters, live from LA via video and chat

Ultimately needed power and the proper volume setting to be heard

9 months got 3000 viewers via festivals, online episode one got seen by over 3000 in first 36 hours

Have ultimately more additional content (more minutes) than actually was in the original film

MySpace comments much more revealing than the festival Q&A sessions, they got worked into the next episodes because the videos and comments were almost real time

Solicited email and zip codes to represent locations where they came from to interpret demand and then approach the theaters with the defined demand to arrange for showings

Ken again: "The end" site started with a moderator, then grew up to be self policing

Elizabeth again: What you witness news; changing the notion of what is newsworthy, what is the tone? How personal does it get

Note to self: Consider getting a MySpace account to create a touch point for audience awareness

Yahoo considers their news site a navigation network, point to sites with news on and off their place

Note: to reader, these will get fleshed out properly later.


Notes from John Palfrey's talk

He opened with a bit about how the schedule reflects a trajectory from white guys talking up front, to the panel and this afternoon to collaboration/working groups

Using MindMap for his presentation, expanding upon the plus signs and then minimizing as he goes, very effective

Three main talking points
• Participatory democracy
• Economic democracy
• Semiotic democracy

Context matters a whole lot
It matters what baseline upon which you choose, better is not enough

Stronger middle class needed to bridge the gap between the top and bottom
Control of cultural goods, moved to the hands of many
More YouTube, more Secondlife, less Disney


Panel discussion at BeyondBroadcasting 2007


John Palfrey and his MindMap Presentation


Live Blogging at Beyond Broadcast 2007

After some technical difficulties were resolved here at MIT, the internet is now available.

Henry Jenkins gave the keynote, John Palfrey gave a brief but informative presentation using a MindMap.

There is a panel discussion underway with three people in the room and a fourth connected via video chat session from LA. (details and names to follow later)

Cool stuff, very exciting!

Also posted on Steve's 2 Cents.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Rapid Fire Learning - Feb 2007

Almost March already, where does time go? While there is still time for more learning, here what I have thus far:

1 - Found that recording the Jewel concert in South Station worked pretty well with my podcast kit from PodCamp Boston. This gave me practice editing with Audacity as I split the 46 minute concert into individual MP3 song files.

2 - Found that there are a lot of Jewel fans cruising the Internet and a good number of them found my pages when I posted the previously mentioned MP3 files. Jewel fans, thanks for stopping by!

3 - Ran in a road race using the race as a workout as I follow my recovery plan. I decided to carry my camera with me to truly be a tourist for the race and ensure that I did not get caught up in the excitement and run faster than I was ready for. Learned that I can take pictures on the run.

4 - I learned that there are 10 dimensions and not just four. I don't understand them enough (yet) to be able to explain them to someone but I like how Rob Bryanton does the explanation!

5 - The web is indeed a place for connections. I am heading to the BeyondBroadcasting 2007 on Saturday, carpooling with a couple of local bloggers. One I had met at PodCamp Boston, and the second I met through the first. Hurray for connections!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Coming to Chicago in May

Take Your Blogging to the Next Level

A Relationship Bloggers' Conference and Networking Event

Community, Friday, May 11, 2007, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Christine Kane, popular guitarist, singer, blogger LIVE
  • Open Mic Night Cocktail Party – Live community event (multiple microphones) Take the conversation out of the comment box!

Speakers, Saturday, May 12, 2007, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Book Review: The Power of We by Jonathan M Tisch

Book Review: The Power of We by Jonathan M Tisch, Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels.

Jonathan's wikipedia page shows the other prominent positions Jonathan holds. He is a leader who really appears to “walk the talk”. I say 'appears to' as a reservation only because I have not yet had the opportunity to confirm this in person. Certainly, the evidence is well weighted in favor of this “walk the talk” being true.

Jonathan opens this book with an explanation of the power of partnerships.
“In today’s complex world, operating without partners is not an option for any but the smallest of businesses. The real choice is whether you will partner deliberately or inadvertently, effectively or ineffectively, thoughtfully or carelessly.”
He closes each chapter with a Portrait in Partnerships, highlighting an individual that has partnered with him or Loews to show specific details around the particular relationship. For example, Chapter 4 closes with a profile of Emeril Legasse. Yes, the cook that appears daily on Emeril Live on the Food Network. (Interesting side bit, those shows are all taped during one week each month, so they are taped live but not shown live.) I have written previously about the cool signal that the wait staff uses with salt and pepper shakers. Read the story here.

It is not surprising that he finds the partnership with his employees to be a critical one.
“Our partnership with employees is based upon what we call a three-legged stool: (1) smart selection, (2) effective training, (3) recognition and rewards. The image of the three-legged stool emphasizes the importance of all three parts of our program. If one leg of a stool is weak, broken, or too short, the stool will collapse. In the same way, the Loews human resources program can’t succeed unless all parts of the program are strongly supported. Our three-part human resources program is as effective as any in our industry; helping us to foster a true sense of partnership between the company and its people.”
Jonathan also spends time talking about the management development program and the mentor program. Both of these are key pieces for the company’s overall success.

Turning Customers into Partners is the title of Chapter 5. This chapter was one that I found myself marking up with good tips and reinforcing points of attention. A visit to the Loews Hotel website reflects some of this attention to detail and focus on the customer experience. It is much cleaner in layout than many other hotel websites yet has the information effectively available.

This chapter is the longest in Jonathan’s book (30 pages) followed by the chapter on employees (28 pages), the role of the company as a good corporate citizen (26 pages), and the opening chapter (getting from me to we) (24 pages). One of the pieces of evidence I find that shows Jonathan walks the talk.

Sprinkled throughout the book are special sections called Tisch’s Tips. In Chapter 7, E Pluribus Plenty, “when competition gives way to cooperation”, the tip tells us:
“How well do your co-branding partnerships work? Which individuals, businesses, or other organizations do you currently partner with? If there is friction, inefficiency, or a lack of creativity, it may be because the goals and values of the two partners are not fully compatible. Perhaps it’s time to consider changing the nature of the partnership, or to shift to a different partner whose philosophy is closer to your own.”
Jonathan closes the book with an epilogue titled “12 More Tips, A Recipe for Personal Success”. The tips are timeless. Some you’ll recognize, some are phrased a little different from what you may have heard before. All are good to read and review periodically.

Going from 'me to we' requires a mindset, a change in approach for some people. Some may not trust you at first. They may be suspicious of your motives. You will need to be careful to stay the course, to walk the talk, to earn their trust. When you do, the partnership rewards will be seen in power of we!

If you are interested in success in the modern "flat world", the "Power of We" is a great book to read.

Additional "Power of We" resources:

The Blog Synergy (now dormant)

Jonathan’s wikipedia profile

Loews Hotel website

Jonathan’s Open Exchange program on Plum TV

Post script:
The Synergy Blog began with a core group of folks anxious to explore the power of synergy. This diverse group was successful in a short period. While the blog is no longer active that is not considered a failure. The individuals in the group inspired and energized by the “power of we” are off and busy in other projects. During the time we were together, this particular book came to our attention. It has taken a while to complete the read and write this summary as other projects seemed to jump into the priority listing. Nonetheless, many of the tenets Jonathan has laid out here, I believe were experienced by the Blog Synergy team while it was at its best. For that I am grateful to have taken part. For that, also I think is a proof of the tenets of this work.

Kudos to you Jonathan, for your good work. Keep it up!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Book Review: The Anatomy of Peace

In “The Anatomy of Peace”, the Arbinger Institute has written another book to parallel their book “Leadership and Self-Deception”. You can’t really call it a sequel as it doesn’t continue the story of the first. Actually, some of the characters that were central to the first appear here in more of a prequel scenario.

So what does Anatomy do differently than Leadership and Self-Deception (LSD)?

Whereas Leadership focused on personal relationships in a work environment, Anatomy focuses on our personal relationships in the family environment. The same thinking out of the box techniques from LSD are discussed here but with specific application to your personal family relationships. Hence, parallel rather than sequel or prequel.

The dust jacket for The Anatomy of Peace says:
“Through an intriguing story of parents who are struggling with their children and with problems that have come to consume their lives, we learn from once-bitter enemies the way to find peace whenever war is upon us. Yusuf al-Falah, an Arab, and Avi Rosen, a Jew, each lost his father at the hands of the other’s ethnic cousins. The Anatomy of Peace is the story of how they came together, how they help warring parents and children to come together, and how we too can find our way out of the struggles that weigh us down.”
The story takes us carefully along the trail to peace complete with diagrams to help explain the concepts. The diagrams build up piece by piece to a complete whole. Getting out of the box requires recognition that you are in the box in the first place. You can look for signs of placing blame or self justification as symptoms of being in the box. Being in an “us versus them” relationship status.

Find an out of box place, a place where you can literally step back and see things in a different light. What really are the differences? What do you have in common? Generally, there is more in common than different. Building from the commonness to an understanding of the differences is helpful. You can begin to resolve the differences, to seek ways to avoid the conflict, to seek ways to work together instead of against each other. Then the final step is to stay out of the box. Not an easy step. The temptation to revert to the box is present. How we choose to respond is the key?

Bottom line, this choice is present in most everything we do. We can choose to be in charge of our life and our destiny, or we can accept what is handed to us.
“A culture of change can never be created by behavioral strategy alone. Peace --- whether at home, work, or between peoples --- is invited only when an intelligent outward strategy is married to a peaceful inward one.”
This book is both timely and timeless. That is, it is important to read today to help understand that we can get out of the troubles we seem to be in. There is hope. It is a choice. It will not be easy. It will be work. It will be hard but it is possible. The book is timeless as I believe the message is an eternal one. The message, the Anatomy of Peace, can carry us forward.

I heartily recommend this book.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Your Brain on Music - quote collection

A series of postings with quotes from This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

evolutionary lag

effective controlled study

jumping to conclusions

down-beat, back-beat

song and dance

10,000 hours

My review of this book is scheduled for posting as part of the Love Affair with Books coming during March on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

Check out the full line up of books currently scheduled for the month here.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Quotes & Links

From Tim Sanders writing at Sanders Says
He trusted their musical judgment enough to look for the beauty of the beat. One player remarked, and I believe this, "trust is a two way street."
Read Tim's full posting here about the coach that listened to the music his players listed to.

From Joy des Jardins guest blogging at Time Goes By
So what’s the lesson to be learned here? That as soon as each one of us is old enough to realize the gift that we have been given, we should give back and treat others the way they were meant to be treated - with respect and understanding, love and compassion. Not in bits and pieces, but every day.
Read Joy's full posting here.

From Robert Brady writing at Pureland Mountain
When I was in college I didn't need naps most of the time because I was already asleep anyway, since being a creature of the night I slept well beyond nap time, which was only a minor disappointment. Still, I remained an interested amateur. So I didn't realize my full siesta potential until I lived in Spain, where my soporific exercises helped me rise to the Olympian level of afternoon somnolence that I now enjoy on pretty close to a daily basis. When the whole country is filled with Zs and even the labs are closed for siesta, the tendency is to go lie down and close your eyes.
Read Robert's full posting on the recent study about the benefits of napping.


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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tough getting older

It is tough getting older. Some people refuse to acknowledge what is really happening to them. For example, one elderly couple with a two story center hall Colonial type house, one partner now struggling with Parkinson's. Already fell down the central hall stairs, ended up looking worse than Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. Now throws his clothes down the stairs, carries his shoes, and holding the railing makes his way. Once down he dresses. He gets up earlier than her and doesn't want to wake her up.

Part of the effects of Parkinson's is short term memory loss. He went out and about to do some shopping (whether he should be driving like that is another story for another time). Came home from a successful shopping trip. Put the food, etc. away. Next day realizes he can't find his credit card and drivers license. Searches the house high and low. Turns pockets inside out. Retraces steps. The whole nine yards. Can't find them. Calls the credit card company finally to report the loss, arranges for new ones to be sent. All good things to do. Gets ready to go to the Registry to get a new copy of his license. Goes to change his shoes and finds his missing cards and license in the shoes he is wearing.

The night before, as he went to bed; he put his card and license in his shoes. Shoes went on the floor beside the bed. Gets a full nights sleep. Gets up in the morning, and as described, throws his clothes down the stairs, carries his shoes down and dresses down stairs.

Another symptom of Parkinson's is either tingling in his legs at odd times, or a loss of feeling in his legs and feet. So he went about most of the day with his shoes on, standing on the credit card and license he was looking for.

On the one hand it is humorous.
On the other hand, is this what is to come?
How does one deal with this loss of sense and feeling?
Sense and feeling that we are so dependent upon to go about our daily life.

How does one deal with this short term memory loss?
How does your partner help?
How does the family help?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

To all the readers of this page, thank you for stopping by. I hope you find something worthwhile and will consider coming back.

To all the commentees of this page, thank you, thank you, thank you! I love the conversation we create. I look forward to our continued conversation, this is what makes the world possible.

If you have not already listened (and or read) the Fire Circle Story, today might be the day to do so. Then you can fully join the circle and continue to spread the word. Interaction makes the world go round!

The Fire Circle Story can be found here (just over 7 minutes).

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cool Valentine

Dolores brought home this Valentine today. One of her kindergarten friends put it together for her (with their parents help, I am sure, but that doesn't take away from the coolness!).

How did he know Dolores loves chocolate?

How did he know Dolores is expecting a ring from me this year? ("only" our 25th anniversary in August)

With expectations being set like this, I am going to have a tough time living up to them.

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Franklin Station - Double deckers

Franklin Station 2
Originally uploaded by shersteve.
can shade as the train pulls into the station

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Monday, February 12, 2007

5 Things - Why I blog?

Rosa has tossed the gauntlet again. This time with another 5 Things Meme on Why I Blog?

You may recall my earlier writing on How I blog here and here.


1 - It's free. Until I started podcasting, I did not spend a penny for blogging. Oh, it cost me time and effort but the ROI on that was exponential.

2 - It's easy. I love to explore new things and love equally to write about those findings here and there and where ever it makes sense to do so. This is after all just a hobby. Someday maybe I'll have more time to do this.

3 - It's connections. Finding and meeting folks with similar and diverse interests around the world. Connecting the dots, learning from one and the other.

4 - Just because I can!
5 - I don't need a fifth reason. I stretched to find the fourth.

I am curious about your reasons for blogging or if you do not, why not?

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hey, who are those guys?

Since this is part of my content network, and the point of blogging is to create a conversation, why not show what it looks like to talk to yourself on a cold Franklin morning?

Your feedback is very much appreciated.

If this doesn't work for you, we'll try again.

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YouTube - You caught!

YouTube has uses beyond what it was intended for. I think there will be more coming.

What am I talking about?

Did you hear about the criminals caught because the video captured during one of the escapades was posted to YouTube? A policeman from another Massachusetts community identified the video culprits.

Johnson put the footage on the Franklin Police Web site. Then the officer, a user of both YouTube and the social networking site MySpace, decided to put technology to the test.

"It seemed logical to me," said Johnson, who runs the department's computer network in his spare time. "A lot more people visit YouTube than the Franklin Police site."

Johnson also sent an alert to the media. Pretty soon, he said, police departments up and down Interstate 495 reported that the case sounded similar to ones they were investigating. A Cohasset Police officer saw a TV news piece on Franklin's use of YouTube, watched the video and got in touch with Johnson, identifying the suspects as the Terrios.

"They're career criminals," Johnson said of the pair. "This is what they do."

The duo remained at-large until Tuesday, when Middleborough Police responded to a disturbance call at a Holiday Inn and arrested the pair. They had stolen credit cards in their possession, Johnson said. It is unclear when their Franklin case could come to court.

In the end, it was old-fashioned police work that solved the case, not technology. However, Johnson said the YouTube post helped police gather information on the case and connect the dots. Moving forward, the officer said YouTube represented a model for free and easy communication among departments, something that does not always occur.

Gotta love new technology!

Read the full Milford Daily News article here.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Podcast Kit did very well!

I am very impressed with the sound quality of the Jewel concert that I managed to record last night with my PodCamp podcast kit from Adam Weiss.

Two samples of Jewel's performance can be found here and here. I don't won't to do more than this. She does still need to sell her songs.

The full recording of the concert was 46 minutes and this gave me an opportunity to play more with Audacity and reduce the full concert to individual MP3 files for each song. Still should be an easier way to do this than I was able to figure out but we're learning and that's the thing!

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

the most womanly of all

It is the woman who no longer tries to be what she once was, but fully embraces what she now is, who is, truly, the most womanly of all.

Great quote from Marian Van Eyk McCain. Her article from four years ago got posted today on Ronni Bennett's As Time Goes By.

One of the best learnings we can all make is coming to that understanding of ourself.

Who am I?

What am I doing?

Have you embraced yourself today?

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The only reason to blog

... now my motto is, "the only reason to blog is the change the world." Every post must display one of my key points of view (Less information is more, Love is the breakthrough solutions for relationships, etc.) and then make a suggestion to the reader (read this book, do this, stop doing that). If I change your mind or your behavior, I've successfully blogged you.
From Tim Sanders writing at Sanders Says.

I like Tim. I have read his book, heard him speak, but I disagree with him on this one. The other valid reason to blog is to make connections and learn from each other through conversations.

What do you think?

My review of Love is the Killer App.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

evolutionary lag

From This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin I find this quote worthy:
To restate the summary principle of evolutionary biology, "Genetic mutations that enhance one's likelihood to live long enough to reproduce become adaptations." The best estimates are that it takes a minimum of fifty thousand years for an adaptation to show up in the human genome. This is called evolutionary lag -- the time lag between when an adapatation first appears in a small proportion of individuals and when it becomes widely distributed in the population.

Gee, I figured it was going to take some time but I did not think it would be THAT long.

I guess we better figure out a better way to handle our Blackberry devices. The solution to Blackberry thumb is not around the corner.

What solutions would you like to see?

A cure for the common cold?
A cure for aids?
A cure for cancer?


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Monday, February 05, 2007

Fundraising Widget Study

Using a wiki, Beth Kanter shares the results of her fund raising widget study.

Good study. Well presented results.

Good demonstration of how to use a wiki.

Good learnings all around.

Thanks, Beth!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Reading, Writing, Sharing

It used to be "readin, 'ritin, and 'rithmetic". That was the old school way. Math is still important but I think sharing and collaboration are more so.

The Love Affair with Books has moved from Rosa Say's Talking Story to the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

I have reserved my spot in this line up. I will expand upon the teaser quotes I have been leaving here and elsewhere to do a full review of This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin

If you would like a spot, feel free to click over and sign up.

Read, write, and SHARE!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

effective controlled study

From This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin I find this quote worthy:
... an ongoing problem that plagues all of empirical science: the tension between rigorous experimental control and real-world situations. The trade-off is that in achieving one, there is often a compromise of the other. The scientific method requires that we control all possible variables in order to be able to draw firm conclusions about the phenomenon under study. Yet such control often creates stimuli or conditions that would never be encountered in the real world, situations that are so far removed from the real world as to not even be valid. The British philosophy Alan Watts, author of The Wisdom of Insecurity put it this way: If you want to study a river, you don't take a bucketful of water and stare at it on the shore. A river is not its water, and by taking the water out of the river you lose the essential quality of river, which is its motion, its activity, its flow.
good food for thought!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

jumping to conclusions

From This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin I find this quote worthy:
... Our perceptual system completes or "fills in" information that isn't there. Why does it do this? Our best guess is that it was evolutionary adaptive to do so. Much of what we see and hear contains missing information. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors might have seen a tiger partially hidden by the trees, or heard a lion's roar partly obscured by the sound of leaves rustling much closer to us. Sounds and sights often come to us as partial information that has been obscured by other things in the environment. A perceptual system that can restore missing information would help us make quick decisions in threatening situations. Better to run now than sit and wait to figure out if it those two separate, broken pieces of sound were part of a single lion roar.
We need to be aware of our senses and brain processing to provide a "complete" story when in fact it may be based upon incomplete data that has been "filled in".

One could jump to a conclusion that would not be valid if the information had been filled in.

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